Monday, August 31, 2015

This child of mine...

It's really amazing what different personalities Emma and I have. She was practicing her flute tonight, and chose to do it on the front porch.  I did some stealth photography.

Emma practicing flute on the front porch.

When I was in junior high and playing the viola, I preferred to do my practicing in my room with the door closed so that no one could hear me.  I mean, I'm sure that my family could hear me, since the walls were just regular walls, but in my mind I was in a bubble of silence and no one could hear me make any mistakes.  That would be soooo embarrassing!

But here's Emma, quite unconcernedly playing her flute on the front porch for the whole neighborhood to hear.  She makes the occasional mistake, but just repeats the measure and carries on.

Emma practicing flute on the front porch.

It's quite enchanting.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tatting smaller and smaller

I'm still on the tatting run, and here's what I've been doing.

More tatting. Size 30, 40, and 100 threads.

The earrings are made with #30 thread, the two snowflakes on the left are made with #40 thread (from published patterns), and the two pieces on the right are made with #100 thread.

Because I am just that insane.

I think the one on the top right  will grow up to be a larger doily, but I'm designing it as I go along and I'm not really sure where it wants to go from here.  Who knows, maybe it will just stay where it is and become a Christmas tree ornament.  The one on the bottom right was the first round of a snowflake designing experiment that went badly awry; the second round didn't work out at all so I cut it off, but the first round was nice and will be used for another try.

Tatting with super fine thread is actually easier than crocheting with the same thread, I think.  You don't have to get a hook into the teeny tiny stitches with tatting, except to join in the picots which is entirely manageable.

And here's a random garden picture- the first Clark's Heavenly Blue morning glory opened today.  Isn't it beautiful!  I'm a little disappointed that the morning glories didn't take off like I had hoped they would.  I think the spot where I planted them just gets too hot.

The first Clark's Heavenly Blue morning glory

Saturday, August 29, 2015


I did up some pickles today; they're just basic dill pickles, but the veggies are all from my garden!  I ran out of cucumbers and didn't have enough to fill the jars completely, so I added a bell pepper.  I've never pickled peppers before, so we'll see how that turns out.


We've also been eating the first of the grapes.  They're a slip-skin type, with sweet pulp inside, and they're so good!


Friday, August 28, 2015


So on Monday, I picked this from the garden.

Today's harvest.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I was out of town.  On Thursday there were two colander-fulls of tomatoes to be picked, between my yard and the Tomato Annex, including the very first ripe San Marzano tomatoes from the plants I started from seed.  I was so giddy that I completely forgot to take a picture.

And this afternoon, I have this.

Six pints of home grown tomato sauce!

Six pints of gloriously rich sauce from roughly 15 pounds of mixed-variety tomatoes.

It's not the first time I've put up tomato sauce, but this IS my very first ever home-canned tomato sauce from tomatoes that I grew myself in (mostly) my own yard of my own house that I bought all by my own self.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Remedial tomato staking

Well, we got everything standing up pretty much straight again.  I added a couple more stakes set at strategic angles to provide some additional leverage to keep the heaviest plants upright, especially that one in the center of the front row.  It's a monster. 

In addition to the new stakes, I tied most of the existing stakes together to distribute the load better.  It's hard to see in this picture, but it's a web of twine on top of the plants.

Remedial staking accomplished. All laced together.

It seems pretty sturdy right now, but I guess time will tell.

The sucker that I stuck in the ground to replace the plant that just wasn't growing has well-developed fruit now.

The sucker is now bearing fruit.

And the biggest pruned, composted sucker that planted itself is now blooming.  This cracks me up.

The trimmings are blooming.

There are so many tomatoes in the Tomato Annex!

So many tomatoes!

In case you were wondering about the haziness of these pictures, well, some of that is inadvertent fuzziness because I was losing light and my phone didn't focus right.  The main part, though, is that's just what La Grande looks like these days.  There is SO much smoke from nearby wildfires.  None are close enough to threaten La Grande (the closest is about 35 miles away), and I am exceedingly aware of how lucky we are.  The entire region is blanketed with smoke, and dozens of families less than 80 miles from La Grande have lost homes.

I think this is the worst fire season for this immediate area since I've lived here.  Definitely the worst smoke I've ever seen in my town, and everything everywhere is tinder dry.  It's scary.  Please send thoughts for lots of rain but NO lightning.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cucurbitaceae, finally.

The Boston Pickling cucumbers have started to bear,

Boston Pickling cucumbers

As has the single zucchini plant (I'm not entirely a fool, I've been overwhelmed by zucchini in previous gardens and learned my lesson...).

Zucchini, finally!

And ta-da! I finally have four itty-bitty pattypan squash starting!  The female flowers have shown up!

Pattypan squash, finally!

This next picture is obviously not a squash, but I just had to show the row of direct-seeded marigolds in my tomato bed.  Marigolds make me so happy.

Marigolds make me happy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tatted teardrops

These were yesterday's efforts, made with #30 crochet cotton.

Tatted teardrops

I saw Emma eyeing them covetously, so I think these will be earrings for her.  They're too big for me to wear comfortably (I'm just not a flashy-type girl), but Emma can pull this off with style and be delighted with her conspicuousness.